Sunday night a friend sent me a video produced by the Marsh family, an English singing group who shot to fame in 2020 making parody music videos while under lockdown. (Naturally, they were promptly dubbed the “Von Trapped” family. Get it?)
Lockdowns might be over, but the family of six is still producing songs—and some of them are nothing short of brilliant. One in particular is starting to go viral.
In April, they dropped a tribute to the recently departed Meatloaf and songwriting legend Jim Steinman based on their 1993 hit "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)." The song is titled "All Of The Prices Have Gone Up (But We Can't Pay That)", and it’s about an economic phenomenon that all of us are far too familiar with right now: inflation.
And all of the prices have gone up
Our budget’s into red, not black.
All of the prices have gone up;
It isn't looking good but that's a fact
And whenever we get a bill we squeal
Oh no! No way!
And all of the prices have gone up;
Family financing is rough.
Government help is not enough;
But I won’t pay that.
The lyrics are funny—and get much funnier as the song continues—but to truly appreciate the brilliance of the song, one must see it performed.
The music video colorfully captures the real pain families around the world are experiencing—”Everyone kicked in the balls in various states of scrotal pain”— but explores the theme through a song that is at once hilarious and beautiful.
The Marsh family sounds fantastic, and the different harmonies they strike with the range of voices is perfect for the Wagnerian-style rock opera music that made Steinman and Meatloaf such a magnificent duo. (The pair collaborated for both Bat Out of Hell in 1978 and Bat Out of Hell II in ‘93.)
I’ve watched the video three times already and get chills and laughs every time. It’s nothing short of beautiful. Maybe it’s partly because I grew up listening to Meatloaf in the car (my dad was a fan) and loving the songwriting of Jim Steinman, who also wrote power ballads like “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” “Holding Out for a Hero,” and “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.”
But I think there’s also something else at work here, something one commenter noted on YouTube.
“The cost of living now is a tragic tragedy,” a subscriber posted, “but…seeing this family, love is priceless, you have one another, you can't buy that in any shop.”
That is well said. Inflation is painful. It harms the most vulnerable in society the most, people who are less likely to be able to store wealth in other places: land, houses, precious metals, etc.
But it’s important to remember that inflation is the rule of history, not the exception.
“With the exception only of the period of the gold standard, practically all governments of history have used their exclusive power to issue money to defraud and plunder the people,” the Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek once noted.
This is why Hayek said it was imperative for people to find a peaceful way to take money “out of the hands of government.”
As the US and many other countries around the world struggle with the highest inflation we’ve seen in generations, expect more people to wonder whether giving government the ability to print endless amounts of money is a good idea or a road to more pain.
Either way, the Marsh family reminds us that even amid suffering there is room for love and laughter, and there are some things even inflation cannot touch.
This article was adapted from an issue of the FEE Daily email newsletter. Click here to sign up and get free-market news and analysis like this in your inbox every weekday.